ENGIE Hazelwood requests review of EPA fine
An infringement notice issued by the Environment Protection Authority Victoria for what it said was a breach of ENGIE Hazelwood's licence conditions is the subject of an EPA review.
ENGIE Hazelwood requested the review after EPA fined 'Hazelwood Power Partners' $8,261 over quality concerns about water discharged into Eel Hole Creek.
EPA Regional Manager Jessica Bandiera noted the discharge did not make a major impact on the environment, but said it was still a breach of licence conditions.
“The company has long been licensed to discharge water from the Hazelwood Pondage into a tributary of the Morwell River, and had been complying with the required environmental standard until Victoria introduced new, higher standards in 2018,” Ms Bandiera said.
“Since then, EPA officers conducting routine inspections of the premises and taking samples from Eel Hole Creek, Wilderness Creek and the Morwell River, found the results met the old standard, but not the new one,” she said.
EPA said Hazelwood Power Partners had failed to report the non-compliance to them. However, ENGIE Hazelwood said it proactively self-reported water quality issues to EPA Victoria more than 18 months ago and has been discussing a licence amendment since well before the infringement notice for the alleged breach was issued.
ENGIE Hazelwood put a submission to EPA Victoria based on a risk assessment prepared by independent environmental consultants, reflecting that the discharges do not present a significant risk to the environment, which was acknowledged by Ms Bandiera in an EPA statement.
A Licence Amendment was granted shortly after the alleged breach.
ENGIE Hazelwood said it has only been informed of one alleged breach, not two as suggested in the EPA statement.